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PRP for Baker’s Cyst

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Popliteal Cyst

Knee swelling is common and can limit your activity and enjoyment.  There are different types of knee swelling.

What is a Baker’s Cyst?

A Baker’s cyst, also known as a popliteal cyst, is one of the most common conditions in the knee.  It is a fluid-filled sac that forms on the backside of your knee. Often it causes a visible bulge and can be tender to the touch.  Some patients complain of pain, tightness, and mild restriction in range of motion. A Baker’s cyst is a warning signal that you have a knee condition that warrants further evaluation.  If left ignored, it can lead to damage of the knee joint, persistent pain, and limited mobility.

Popliteal Cyst

Your knee is surrounded by a membrane called the synovial membrane. This membrane produces fluid that lubricates the knee and helps to move it smoothly. Sometimes the knee produces too much synovial fluid causing knee swelling.  Knee swelling that is localized on the backside of the knee is called a Baker’s cyst.  They are more common in men than women and tend to occur between 35 and 50 years of age, although they can happen at any age. Most people with a baker’s cyst experience no symptoms, but sometimes it can cause pain and swelling

What Causes Baker’s Cyst

The cause of a baker’s cyst is not fully understood, but it’s thought that they may be caused by:

  • a build-up of fluid inside the knee joint (known as synovial effusion)
  • damage to the lining of the knee joint (cartilage tear)
  • a problem with the way the knee joint moves (known as joint instability)
  • a meniscus tear
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Patellofemoral dysfunction 

Baker’s cysts are sort of like a barometer for the knee’s overall health. If you have a baker’s cyst, it could mean that something is wrong with your knee and you should see a doctor, as there may be an underlying issue that warrants further evaluation. There are other causes of knee pain not related to the knee.  For example, a blood clot also known as a deep vein thrombosis can also present as pain on the backside of the knee with swelling.  This is a serious medical condition with life treating consequences.

PRP for Baker’s Cyst

PRP therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for baker’s cysts and many of the underlying issues that cause them. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma.  It is a procedure that involves drawing a patient’s blood from their arm, spinning it in a centrifuge thereby isolating and concentrating the platelets.  Platelets are rich in growth factors that can increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, and accelerate healing. Treatment of bakers involves identifying the underlying cause and addressing it. The baker’s cyst is often drained under ultrasound guidance.  PRP can then be injected to reduced swelling and pain as well as improve joint function.

Why Regenexx PRP Mixtures Are Superior

In most clinics that offer PRP therapies, the method of developing PRP involves removing a patient’s blood and running it through a simple bedside centrifuge machine to separate the plasma and concentrate the blood platelets, which are then immediately extracted and used as the injectate. These devices are not great at getting rid of unfavorable cells from the resulting mixture. Our lab tests show that white and red blood cells have an inhibiting effect on the same stem cells the platelets are attempting to stimulate and might cause excessive inflammation following the injection.

Our PRP is purer, concentrated, and customizable because it is produced in a laboratory setting by an experienced technician who can separate and concentrate all the blood’s good components and remove the unfavorable ones.

Invented at Centeno-Schultz Clinic, Regenexx’s Super Concentrated PRP procedures are an advanced type of PRP therapy that uses lab-processed PRP mixtures that have been found to provide up to 10 – 40 times more platelet concentrations than the traditional “bloody” PRP. Our PRP, due to its high levels of platelets, has an amber color (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Doctors Who Treat Baker’s Cyst with PRP Injections

PRP injection procedures in Denver and Broomfield, Colorado clinics are performed by the following Interventional Orthopedics doctors:

Christopher J. Centeno, MD

Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in Interventional Orthopedics and the clinical use of bone marrow concentrate in orthopedics. He is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a subspecialty of pain medicine through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Centeno is one of the few physicians in the world with extensive experience in the culture expansion of and clinical use of adult bone marrow concentrate to treat orthopedic injuries. His clinic incorporates a variety of revolutionary pain management techniques to bring its broad patient base relief and results. Dr. Centeno treats patients from all over the US who…

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John Schultz, MD

John R. Schultz M.D. is a national expert and specialist in Interventional Orthopedics and the clinical use of bone marrow concentrate for orthopedic injuries. He is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and underwent fellowship training in both. Dr. Schultz has extensive experience with same day as well as culture expanded bone marrow concentrate and sees patients at the CSC Broomfield, Colorado Clinic, as well the Regenexx Clinic in Grand Cayman. Dr. Schultz emphasis is on the evaluation and treatment of thoracic and cervical disc, facet, nerve, and ligament injuries including the non-surgical treatment of Craniocervical instability (CCI). Dr. Schultz trained at George Washington School of…

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John Pitts, M.D.

Dr. Pitts is originally from Chicago, IL but is a medical graduate of Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. After Vanderbilt, he completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. The focus of PM&R is the restoration of function and quality of life. In residency, he gained much experience in musculoskeletal medicine, rehabilitation, spine, and sports medicine along with some regenerative medicine. He also gained significant experience in fluoroscopically guided spinal procedures and peripheral injections. However, Dr. Pitts wanted to broaden his skills and treatment options beyond the current typical standards of care.

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Jason Markle, D.O.

Post-residency, Dr. Markle was selected to the Interventional Orthopedic Fellowship program at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic. During his fellowship, he gained significant experience in the new field of Interventional Orthopedics and regenerative medicine, honing his skills in advanced injection techniques into the spine and joints treating patients with autologous, bone marrow concentrate and platelet solutions. Dr. Markle then accepted a full-time attending physician position at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, where he both treats patients and trains Interventional Orthopedics fellows. Dr. Markle is an active member of the Interventional Orthopedic Foundation and serves as a course instructor, where he trains physicians from around the world.

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Brandon T. Money, D.O., M.S.

Dr. Money is an Indiana native who now proudly calls Colorado home. He attended medical school at Kansas City University and then returned to Indiana to complete a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program at Indiana University, where he was trained on non-surgical methods to improve health and function as well as rehabilitative care following trauma, stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, etc. Dr. Money has been following the ideology behind Centeno-Schultz Clinic and Regenexx since he was in medical school, as he believed there had to be a better way to care for patients than the status quo. The human body has incredible healing capabilities…

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  1. Jones IA, Togashi RC, Thomas Vangsness C Jr. The Economics and Regulation of PRP in the Evolving Field of Orthopedic BiologicsCurr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2018;11(4):558-565. doi:10.1007/s12178-018-9514-z

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Baker’s Cyst

A Baker’s cyst can cause knee pain. A Baker cyst is swelling caused by fluid from the knee joint protruding to the back of the knee. They are NOT a true cyst since it has communication with the synovial sac. They typically arise from degenerative changes or injury to the articular cartilage (arthritis) or meniscus. At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, we believe that baker’s Cysts are simply a barometer of the health of the knee joint. In a healthy knee, there are absent whereas with injury and degenerative changes they are common. They arise between the tendons of the medial head…

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